Hate Crime

Case# 22-005530


On 9/5/2022 at 1:36 AM, Officers were dispatched to the 100 block of Main Street for a reported battery against a person. Officers arrived and contacted the victim who stated a male subject, later identified as Joaquin Morton, entered the business, made a derogatory statement in regards to the sexual orientation of the occupants inside the business, and proceeded to shoot them with Orbeez. Orbeez are a popular toy containing superabsorbent polymer balls that grow when submerged in water. Orbeez can be discharged from a water pellet gun, gel blaster, or splaterball gun. The victim indicated he was struck in the head with multiple Orbeez but no medical aid was needed.

As Officers were on scene investigating the incident, Morton, along with two other subjects returned to the area. When Officers attempted to stop Morton he fled but was ultimately detained approximately one block away.

Morton was arrested and booked with the following:

148 PC – Resisting Arrest
242 PC – Battery
422.6 PC – Commission of a Hate Crime

Morton was later transported to Butte County Jail.

The Chico Police Department safeguards the rights of all individuals irrespective of their disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and/or association with a person or group. Any acts or threats of violence, property damage, harassment, intimidation, or other crimes motivated by hate or bias are viewed very seriously and given high priority.

Location: 100 Block Main Street 

Victim: Withheld

Suspect: Joaquin Morton 

Supervisor: Sgt. Peter Durfee 

Lieutenant: Lt. Omar Peña

The Chico Police Department is committed to ensuring our community is a safe place to live, work, and recreate within!

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